Why Is My iPad Bluetooth Not Working? How to Fix the Problem

Get Bluetooth working and connect to other devices fast

If your iPad's Bluetooth functionality isn't working, there are a number of things you can try to get it working again.

Why Is My iPad Not Finding Bluetooth Devices?

Several things can prevent your iPad from finding Bluetooth devices that you want to connect to, including:

  • Bluetooth may be turned off.
  • Your Bluetooth device may be too far away.
  • The device you're trying to connect to may not be sufficiently charged.
  • Software or firmware could be out of date on either the iPad or the Bluetooth device.

How Do I Fix the Bluetooth On My iPad?

If you're having issues with your Bluetooth, the steps below might help. Try each one, in order until you find a solution that gets your Bluetooth working again. They're arranged from easiest or most likely to work to hardest or least likely to work.

  1. Check to be sure your iPad's Bluetooth is turn on. It's easy enough to accidently (or even on purpose) turn the Bluetooth on your iPad off. Check to be sure it's turned on, and then try connecting to your Bluetooth device again,

  2. Make sure your devices are compatible. It seems like a given, but believe it or not, not all devices are compatible. Make sure the Bluetooth device you're using with your iPad is actually compatible with the iPad. You can usually check the packaging or the manufacturer's website for details about compatibility.

  3. Make sure your devices are close enough. A Bluetooth signal tends to have a very short range, so make sure your devices are close enough to connect. Usually 2-3 feet is good during the connection process, though you can often separate them by a greater distance once the connection is complete.

  4. Make sure your iPad and your Bluetooth device are both well charged. You wouldn't think the charge level on an iPad or on the Bluetooth device you're connecting it to would matter, but it can. The more charged the devices are, the better the connection, so if you're having trouble and either of the devices is less than 50 percent charged, try charging them both completely and starting again.

  5. Make sure your Bluetooth device isn't paired with something else. While it's true some Bluetooth items will connect with more than one device, that's not true for all of them. If you already have your Bluetooth device connected to something else, disconnect it and then re-try connecting it to the iPad.

  6. Turn Bluetooth off and then restart your iPad. Turn off the Bluetooth on your iPad and then restart it. If there's something 'wonky' in the works, many times a restart will clear out whatever problem there might be.

  7. Restart the Bluetooth device. After you've restarted your iPad, the next step would be to restart the Bluetooth device you want to connect to. Use the manufacturer's instructions for restarting the device, then make sure it's back in pairing mode and try to make the connection again. Just as a restart can help an iPad, it can also help the device you're trying to connect to.

  8. Forget the device, and then try to pair to it again. If you've previously connected your Bluetooth device to your iPad, there could be some corruption with the connection. Try forgetting the device. Once you do, restart the iPad, and then try to connect the Bluetooth device again. The fresh connection may solve whatever issue is happening.

  9. Make sure your Bluetooth device is full updated. Outdated drivers, firmware, and software can create all manner of problems, including connection issues. Use the manufacturer's directions for updating your specific Bluetooth device, they are usually available on the manufacturer's website, and generally, you can go into the settings for the device to find the option to update it.

  10. Make sure your iPad is fully updated. Just as outdate firmware and software on a Bluetooth device can cause problems, so can an outdated iPad. Make sure it's updated to the latest version of iPadOS. As an added bonus, updating your iPad might make it easier to update the firmware for your Bluetooth device.

  11. Reset your network settings is a little bit of a drastic step, as it will reset all your network settings, which means all your Bluetooth pairing and all your Wi-Fi networks will be removed. Your mobile network settings may also be reset (Which is only a problem if you're on a carrier that uses mobile virtual network operations such as Cricket, Republic Wireless, and other no-contract carriers in the US. If that is the case, you'll need to ask your carrier to help you reset your network settings).

    Once you reset the network settings, however, you may be able to connect to your Bluetooth device after you've reconnection to your mobile and Wi-Fi networks. To reset network settings go to: Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Network Settings.

  12. As a last resort you can factory reset your iPad. It's unlikely this will make much of a difference for your Bluetooth connections, but there's a slim possibility that something's gotten corrupted in your Bluetooth capabilities, so if nothing else is working, a complete reset of your iPad is worth a try.

    However, be aware that if you reset your iPad you'll lose everything on it, so you might want to create a complete backup before you start.

How Do I Reset My Bluetooth?

If none of the steps above has helped you to get your iPad connected to your Bluetooth device, it might be time to setup an appointment for a visit to the Apple Store, setup an appointment at the Genius Bar, or place a call to Apple Care.

FAQ
  • How do I connect Bluetooth headphones to my iPad?

    Follow the general steps to pair Bluetooth devices to an iPad. Turn Bluetooth on from Settings > Bluetooth, put your headphones in pairing mode, and select them when they appear under My Devices. This process also works for Bluetooth keyboards, speakers, and other accessories.

  • Are multiple Bluetooth connections at once possible on iPads?

    Yes, you can connect multiple Bluetooth accessories at once with your iPad, such as a wireless mouse, headphones, and an Apple Pencil. You may experience performance issues depending on how many accessories you've connected simultaneously. If that happens, tap the i (information icon) next to a device you're not using and select Disconnect.

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